Healthcare Science


How healthcare in the United States will be provided, delivered and paid for is at the forefront of national debate and a major political issue. One fact, however, is clear. With an aging population and an increasing incidence of chronic diseases, the need for quality healthcare – and healthcare workers – will continue to increase dramatically.

By 2030, 20 percent of all Americans will be 65 years or older, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. And, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that half of all American adults suffer from at least one chronic health condition such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease or arthritis, and one in three experience multiple chronic conditions.

These and other factors indicate that demand for healthcare will be huge, increasing the demand for highly skilled and educated healthcare workers.

Alvernia University is widely recognized for its healthcare degrees, and is at the forefront of addressing the rapidly growing need for specialized, professional employees within the field of healthcare. Majoring in Healthcare Science will prepare you for a meaningful, fulfilling career with a healthcare agency or business, a government organization, or in a variety of medical care settings.

The Healthcare Science degree is offered at Alvernia’s Reading, Pottsville and Philadelphia campuses. Alvernia University partners with Montgomery County Community College, guaranteeing that 100 percent of MCCC degree curriculums transfer directly into Alvernia’s Healthcare Science Program.


Why should you study Healthcare Science at Alvernia University?

Because at Alvernia you get all the benefits of an outstanding university education in a manageable setting with personal attention and unique opportunities that can benefit you as you move toward your career.

The Healthcare Science degree can be pursued at any of Alvernia’s three campuses: Reading, Pottsville and Philadelphia. In addition, Alvernia partners with Montgomery County Community College, enabling you to start your course work there and have it transferred to Alvernia.

Small Class Size
Alvernia has a 14-1 student-faculty ratio, and most classes contain less than 20 students. This facilitates valuable, professional relationships among faculty members and students. In these small class settings, you get individual attention to help you excel.

Faculty Who Care
Alvernia’s faculty members aren’t just teachers. They’re experts in their fields who are committed to passing along their knowledge and expertise to their students. In small class settings faculty members become mentors and advisors, intent on helping you learn, grow and succeed. Alvernia’s healthcare faculty members have worked in various medical settings and are highly regarded in their fields. They have backgrounds in banking, nursing, telecommunications, law and insurance. They are board members of prestigious organizations and have presented papers and reports both nationally and internationally. Most importantly, they’re there to help you succeed.

Research Opportunities
Alvernia offers opportunities for many students to work with faculty members on research projects relating to their areas of concentration. This collaboration prepares students for professions and/or graduate school.

Honors Program
Alvernia’s Honors Program for students who are academically gifted and highly motivated is designed to allow students to work at their own pace and to recognize and encourage academic excellence. Honors students interact with one another to exchange ideas and information across a wide range of disciplines and interests.

The Honors Program offers co-curricular activities, service opportunities and intellectual and social support to encourage students to exceed their own expectations.

Learn more about Alvernia’s Honors Programs at

Get Real
Classroom learning is valuable and necessary, but out-of-the-classroom, experiential learning provides management students with hands-on, real world learning opportunities that enrich your educational experience and are highly valued by employers.

You’ll have opportunities to participate in internships, co-ops, field experiences, community service, campus events and other experiences to help you stretch and grow toward your full potential.

Learn more about Alvernia’s Get Real program at

Study Abroad
Living and studying outside of the United States can change you in ways you can’t begin to envision. Students who study abroad typically gain immeasurable confidence and experiences they could not have imagined.

Healthcare majors have benefitted from participation in study abroad programs in countries including New Zealand, Italy, Spain, England, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Morocco, Palestine, China and Mexico.

Learn more about Alvernia’s Study Abroad program at


A Healthcare Science degree from Alvernia University can open the door to a variety of careers in the healthcare field. You might work as a healthcare policy leader, advocate or educator. Or, your interests might lead you to scientific research or medical writing. Whatever career you choose, you’ll be prepared to play a meaningful, big-picture role in the current healthcare environment.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of jobs available in the healthcare and social assistance industry is predicted to increase by almost 5 million between 2012 and 2022. That represents a 29 percent increase in employment – a rate much faster than average for all occupations.

As a Healthcare Science major, you will gain a variety of educational tools and techniques that will set you apart in your profession, regardless of the field in which you choose to work. You will have the opportunity to work with an advisor and select coursework designed to meet your area of interest.

While Healthcare Science is a valuable major for students entering the field of healthcare, obtaining a Healthcare Science degree from Alvernia University also can greatly benefit individuals in these fields by preparing them for career advancement:

  • Surgical Technologists
  • Dental Hygienists
  • Medical Imaging Technologists
  • Physical Therapist Assistants
  • Occupational Therapy Assistants
  • Respiratory Therapists
  • Other Allied Healthcare Professionals

All Alvernia students must successfully complete a minimum of 123 semester credits to receive a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree. View your Major Academic Plan (MAP) by year here.

Healthcare Science majors must complete 30 credits in the major. Required courses are:

HCS 200 Foundations of Healthcare Science
HCS 300 Writing for Healthcare Science
HCS 310 Health and Wellness Over the Lifespan
HCS 320 Healthcare Science and Cultural Competence
HCS 330 Healthcare Literacy and Advocacy
HCS 340 Healthcare Science Management
HCS 400 Healthcare Systems and Policy
HCS 410 Community Health Organization and Administration
HCS 420 Current Issues in Healthcare Science
HCS 430 Healthcare Science Capstone

Related required courses are:
BIO 100 Human Biology (with lab)
PSY 101 Introduction to Psychology (Social Science Core applicable)
BIO 216 Nutrition
PSY 208 Human Development Across the Lifespan
SOC 111 Intro to Sociology

You’ll also need to complete 54-55 liberal arts core credits and complete community service hours to qualify for graduation.

You can learn more about all courses offered by Alvernia University by viewing the Academic Course Catalogue.

Your Real World Learning Experience
Alvernia believes that real world experience is extremely important, as it can improve your confidence and introduce you to professionals in your intended field of employment.

You will not only benefit from experienced faculty members who have extensive experience in the business world, you’ll also get the opportunity to participate in learning opportunities in real business and/or healthcare settings through internships and cooperative experiences.

Some of the organizations with which Alvernia healthcare majors have had internships include:

  • Reading Health System
  • Reading Health Dispensary
  • Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Lutheran Home of Topton
  • St. Joseph Medical Center

Your advisor, other faculty members and staff of Alvernia’s Career Development Center can help you decide if an internship is right for you. Meanwhile, you can find out more about real world learning at

Research Opportunities
Research is a valuable aspect of any education. Healthcare faculty members at Alvernia conduct research in a variety of areas.

As a Healthcare Administration major, there may be opportunity for you to assist in faculty research, and to benefit from knowledge gained through faculty research.

The Honors Program
If you’re academically gifted and highly motivated, you may want to learn more about Alverania’s Undergraduate Honors Program. Honors students have opportunities to take courses dealing with unusual topics and participate in a variety of activities. You can learn more about the Honors Program and how to apply at

The Eight-Semester Plan
You can do it! It’s easy to stay on track to graduate in four years if you pay close attention to what classes you need and make sure to take them in a timely manner. Advisors are available to assist in planning academic programs, course selection and registration, but it’s your job to make sure that you meet all academic requirements and comply with University policies.

You can greatly enhance your university experience by participating in activities both on and off campus. Start planning well in advance for an internship, study abroad or other off-campus experience, as you’ll need to assure that you will be able to complete all required coursework.

Study Opportunities beyond Campus
Your college years are the perfect time to broaden your horizons and participate in experiences that can change your life. Alvernia offers some great opportunities for students who want to spend some time studying beyond its campus.

The Washington Center
The University’s O’Pake Institute for Ethics, Leadership and Public Service manages a relationship with The Washington Center, an organization that offers residential academic programs and internships in the nation’s capital.

If you participate in The Washington Center program, you might be placed in an internship in a government agency, non-profit organization or medical-related setting. You can learn more about the Washington Center and opportunities there at

Study Abroad Programs
Alvernia’s Study Abroad Office works closely with students who want to spend one or more semesters in a different country. Healthcare Science students have studied and traveled in Italy, Spain, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, England, Germany, Greece, Belgium, Austria, Morocco, Palestine and China.

You pay the regular Alvernia tuition while studying abroad, and continue to receive financial aid, if applicable. Credits earned count toward your Alvernia undergraduate degree.

If you’re interested in studying in another country you should start planning early, as you’ll need to start the application process about a year in advance.

You can get more information about these programs from the Study Abroad Office at or by contacting


Alvernia is committed to serving the needs of its students. Whether you have questions or problems related to academics, life on campus, student activities, social activities or any other issue, there is someone available to help you. You can learn more about all student services at

Educational Planning Center
The Educational Planning Center offers advice and support to help you with any problems or issues related to your Alvernia education. It also assists with career exploration and preparation. The office is open every day and can be contacted at 610-796-8266.

Career Services
Staff members at the Career Development office will help you with any questions you have about exploring or planning careers. They also will guide you about how to look for and apply to jobs as you get closer to graduation. The office also has a career resources library. You can learn more about career services at, or by emailing

Financial Aid
The Financial Aid office is the place to contact with any questions you have about the cost of an Alvernia education and options for paying for it. Nearly all undergraduates at Alvernia get some type of financial aid, and everyone is encouraged to apply for it. You can learn more at or by emailing

Admissions Office
If you’re interested in applying to the Healthcare Administration program at Alvernia, contact the Admissions Office at 610-796-3011 or at

Faculty Members
Alvernia’s healthcare faculty members are dedicated, highly qualified professionals who are committed to sharing their expertise and knowledge with students. Faculty members have extensive experience in various aspects of healthcare, and bring their expertise to the classroom. They often work one-on-one with students to enhance the student’s learning experience, and serve as mentors to aspiring students.

Faculty members in the Healthcare Science program are actively engaged in research, have written articles that have appeared in prestigious publications and have presented nationally and internationally at conferences.

You can learn more about Alvernia’s healthcare faculty at


There is so much more to college than classes, and Healthcare Science majors at Alvernia have some excellent opportunities to get involved in activities that are both enjoyable and provide beneficial, hands-on experience. Students who get involved and engaged in extra-curricular activities benefit both academically and socially, and open themselves to integral life lessons from beyond the classroom.

You’ll be encouraged to participate in a range of activities, including some rewarding and inspiring service projects. Some organizations and activities you might enjoy and benefit from include:

  • Alvernia Student Nurses’ Association (ASNA). This organization provides opportunities for networking with nursing students and professionals on state and national levels. Students can broaden their understanding of issues and concerns facing nurses and the general healthcare profession.
  • Pre-Health Professions Club. For students who are working toward careers in health professions, members of the Pre-Health Professions Club meet to share information, learn more about the health industry and meet others with similar interests. Members include pre-medical and pre-dental students, occupational therapy majors, nursing students, healthcare science majors and others.
  • Alvernia also offers many organizations, clubs and activities outside of your major, and you’re encouraged to get involved. You can learn more about Alvernia’s Student Government Association, becoming a Student Ambassador, student trips and other activities at
  • The Holleran Center for Community Engagement serves as a bridge between the University and the community. The Center partners with a variety of organizations to provide Alvernia students opportunities to serve. You might volunteer to work at the Lutheran Home Care and Hospice Center or volunteer at the Reading Hospital and Medical Center. You can read more about volunteer opportunities at

Students who earn degrees in Healthcare Science also could elect to continue their studies in graduate or professional schools.

Graduates of Alvernia healthcare degree programs have found employment with:

  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Reading Health System
  • Reading Health Dispensary
  • Temple University Hospital
  • St. Joseph Medical Center

For more information about Alvernia’s Healthcare Science program contact the Admissions Office at 1-888-ALVERNIA or 610-796-8269 or

healthcare science

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